Sunday, November 4, 2012

When a stag/hare hunt is not a stag/hare hunt

This speculation from a TPM reader got me to thinking...
Regarding dumping money into non-competitive states, here in Dallas nearly every other commercial is an anti-Obama ad from the superPAC, “Restore our Future.” I’m trying to figure out why they’re dumping so much money into the Texas ad market when I’d assume Texas is about as solidly red as it gets. I have two theories: 
1. It’s to build up GOP enthusiasm for down-ticket races.

2. They need to spend some of their donations on something other than lining their own pockets to help keep people from realizing they’re nothing but grifters who have been lining their own pockets with all that political donation money.
This reminded me of the Stag Hunt game where players have to decide whether to stick with a group in hopes of a big pay-off that's dependent on cooperation or go off on their own for a smaller but more likely pay-off.

I don't want to get bunch of emails saying I don't know anything about game theory (which is true but hopefully not relevant here), so to be clear I'm not saying this is a stag hunt, just that this raises some similar tactical questions about diverting resources from a big but unlikely pay-off (the Electoral College) to smaller ones (the popular vote, better down-ticket results).

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